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Recent Submissions

  • Legacy junk: MFA thesis exhibition

    Juneau, Allison; Mollett, David; Jones, Zoe; Mehner, Da-ka-xeen (2020-12)
    I recently purchased a tract of raw land with the intention of building a cabin, and wasn't terribly surprised to find the land came with some impressive piles of junk. I was frankly enamored of these objects, abandoned but not destroyed by the previous owner. They had a potentially useful quality that resonated with other aspects of the Fairbanks community; transfer sites, the airplane graveyard behind the airport, old couches and tables and wooden spools that littered the yards of countless homes. This rural detritus represents a confluence of natural and cultural forces that Alaskans experience every day. I wish to investigate this transitional territory by abstracting and amplifying the fine line between usefulness and decay. I believe that in this modern life, it is all too easy to assume that the world of nature and the world of human culture are totally separate. For me, this assumption was repeatedly challenged after experiencing the destructive power of nature during my childhood in Tornado Alley, and more recently, the subzero temperatures of Interior Alaska. I typically draw inspiration from daily observations of my environment, and as a result my imagery changed dramatically after I moved to the far North. Despite the change of landscape, the core concept of investigating intersections of nature and culture remains the same. This is a fascinating task in the Alaskan Interior, as these intersections are clearly exposed. This community has a unique relationship to nature, as modern homes and businesses coexist with virtually untouched wilderness. These experiences have instilled in me a deep respect for the vast web of life that both supports and threatens my community, and motivates me to seek out and emphasize places where natural and artificial worlds collide using the malleable language of art and oil painting.
  • VITAS: A Visual Exhibit

    Walter, Ilisa A.; Croskrey, Wendy E.; Jones, Zoë M. (2020-12)
    VITAS is a visual exhibition that addresses the idea of a posthumous legacy. The substance of a person’s life is composed of what they’ve done, and what they become after death is determined by that substance. This exhibition is composed of 25 carved animal skulls and sculptures inspired by the concept of vitas, treating life as an opportunity to advance the next generation through life’s work. VITAS studies the idea of what happens after the passing of a being by applying embellishment, adornment, pigments, and carvings onto the skeletal remains of animals. By applying human influence to natural material, the animal’s experience becomes a vital part of the artwork. Bone density, size, condition, and abnormalities are all determined by how the animal lived. These factors are a major consideration in design and aesthetic choices in each unique piece.
  • The Ranch(er)

    Connelley, Wendy; Brashear, James; Mehner, Da-ka-xeen; Croskrey, Wendy Ernst; Jones, Zoë Marie (2020-12)
    THE RANCH(ER) is a thesis project to fulfill the requirements of an MFA degree in visual fine-arts. This project focused on exploring my connection between the land, the ranch and its tools, and generations of ancestors living and working a small family ranch. I give voice to the seldom-vocal rancher and the isolation, hardships, and tenderness of ranch life. I have chosen as subjects for this exhibition objects that are utilitarian and are items woven into the cultural fabric of ranchers and their families. They are icons of generational identity. Rather than creating purely traditional functional objects such as cups and bowls, I’ve created conceptual pieces that emphasize the intangible connection between utilitarian objects and their users, as well as the objects’ roles in its customary position. By removing the items from their original context, I point to the context of function and utility: a life of use and work. Clay is the primary material used to create this installation to tell a universal story. The ceramic and sculptural pieces were exhibited to the public as an installation in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Fine Arts Gallery in the Fine Art Complex, Room 312, from November 2-20, 2020. The artist’s public presentation was given through an open Zoom meeting on Friday, November 13, 2020. The project report summarizes the examination and investigations involved in the development of the project.
  • Navigating ambiguous regulations: an artist's perspective on indigenous art materials and resource management in Alaska

    Woldstad, Theresa M.; Mehner, Da-ka-xeen; Croskrey, Wendy Ernst; Mason, Charles; Jones, Zoe Marie; Simpson, Glen (2020-03)
    Alaska Native art is legally defined as art created by a member of a state or federally-recognized tribe of Alaska Natives or a certified non-member artisan (Indian Arts and Crafts Act). Yet this legal definition does not reference the cultural expression and application of creative skill that makes Alaska Native Art a strategic expressive resource. Alaska Native Art is a cultural resource that impacts indigenous economies, cultural social networks, natural resource utilization, and political engagement. Through the creation of native art, an individual not only expresses their culture but also becomes engaged in the natural resource utilization and management in Alaska. However, the link between natural resource management and customary material harvest and utilization has been historically underappreciated primarily due to regulatory ambiguity and broad nature of artistic creation. The harvest and use of these customary materials are governed by multiple state and federal laws across diverse management agencies. State and federal natural resource management agencies possess different interpretations for who may harvest natural resources for art, definitions of significant modifications of natural materials to create art, and priorities governing urban and rural access. Each agency applies different administrative codes to determine proper permitting for both personal artistic creation and the manufacture of marketplace authentic Alaska Native Handicrafts. However, this ambiguous labyrinth of regulation is constantly changing and adapting to new federal and state laws, treaties, and court rules. It is the responsibility of the native artist to navigate this complicated mosaic of regulatory authority to harvest natural materials for art. Yet the foundation from which an artist begins navigating regulatory authority is often inadequately defined. It is the purpose of this MFA thesis is to provide an artist’s perspective on native art materials and resource management in Alaska
  • A Collection of masses or: weaving a world recalled (a collage of things once seen)

    Bartsch, Max Dymond; Mollett, David; Duffy, Annie; Jones, Zoë Marie (2019-04)
    “A Collection of Masses” serves as an introspective look at the visual inspiration and synthesis of a creative childhood, lifestyle, and culture. The writing serves as a personal history, detailing significant artists and works and the ways they served as influences. I was born into a family of artists. I grew up watching my mother paint and lived in a domestic space with art studio pockets throughout it. In our household we always made things and I find my working method most absorbed in that act of creativity and process. My masters thesis body of work revolves around system relationships drawing forms from a variety of systems; the human organ systems, crowd dynamics, and the systems with which artists create their work. It synthesizes ideas begun by artistic influences, and embraces artistic experimentation and creativity.
  • Inside out: an invisible illness explored through art

    Chamberlain, Jennifer; Brashear, James; Mason, Charles; Jones, Zoe Marie; Shannon, Teresa (2018-12)
    Inside Out: A Hidden Illness Explored Through Art is a thesis Project to fulfill the requirements of an MFA degree in visual arts. This project focused on ceramics and photography inspired by the unusual combination of medical imagery and heavily textured ocean landscapes. Through this body work, a better understanding of invisible illness is revealed. During my first year as an MFA student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I was invited to be an apprentice to Simon Levin, a woodfire potter specializing in functional wares fired in a Japanese style Anagama Kiln. One month into my apprenticeship I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an unpredictable and incurable autoimmune disease that disrupts the central nervous system causing progressive physical and cognitive deficits. My apprenticeship experience dramatically changed course as I began investigating and adapting to new ways of working in clay. I have had to redefine my identity as a ceramic artist as a result of this diagnosis and the impact it has had on my daily life. My interpretation of this new medical diagnosis has resulted in exciting, detailed surfaces and textures on my functional ceramics. Through this exploration, I have begun to form a connection between the textures and lines of medical imaging and my love for the subtle beauty of the ocean landscape. Exploring these subjects through their unusual and unexpected combinations has provided me with a healing and introspective experience that has greatly influenced my recent work.
  • Arctic entry: Kuskokwim River photogravures

    Bailey, Alice; Mason, Charles; Guthrie, Mareca; Mehner, Da-kakeen; Mollett, David (2014-05)
  • Playing with color

    Hollensbe, Sharon; Mollett, David; Sherman, Todd; Jones, Zoe; Mason, Charles; Woodward, Kesler (2018-04)
    This paper is a description of the history of my study of art for my Masters of Fine Art program, focusing mainly on painting, that were influenced by various artists and mentors over a 19 year period. I was accepted into the University of Fairbanks Art Department MFA program in 1999, withdrew in 2002, and re-applied and was accepted back into the program in 2015. My program concluded with a verbal presentation with PowerPoint, and a show of my paintings at the Well Street Art Company on April 6, 2018.
  • Cosmic dust

    Manalang, Maria Belina S.; Mollett, David L.; Mason, Charles W.; Jones, Zoe Marie; Croskrey, Wendy E. (2015-12)
    My thesis is a body of work collectively entitled Cosmic Dust. It consists of different series of paintings that I've produced as a Master of Fine Arts student here at University of Alaska Fairbanks. These series are the Drip Paintings, Celestial Objects, and Ellipsoids. Elements from different series sometimes combine to form hybrid paintings. Although I have categorized my paintings into these three series, they have many elements in common. They are all related to natural phenomena involving continuous cycles and the effects of gravitational force.
  • Watching you go: exploring subjective documentary methods in contemporary photography

    Quimby, Ellamarie; Mason, Charles W.; Lazarus, Joshua J.; Jones, Zoe M.; Mehner, Da-ka-xeen (2017-05)
    This work examines the history and contemporary context of photojournalism and documentary photography through narrative imagery of the artist's mother and family. By adapting traditional documentary practices and exploring more subjective methodologies, Watching you go addresses the artist's physical and emotional limitations while experiencing her mother's terminal illness.
  • Nome as place

    Enriquez, Alyssa Marie (2016-12)
    Inspired by finding a sense of place within the Circumpolar North this project examines this artist’s personal connection to Nome, Alaska with a contemporary photographic approach utilizing the historical Platinum Palladium photographic process. The use of the Platinum Palladium process explores the artist’s connection to place, the idea of landscape, cultural iconography, and connects it to historic trends in the field of photography.